What is psyllium?

Psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber laxative. Psyllium works by absorbing liquid in the intestines and swelling to create a softer, bulky stool that is easier to pass.

Psyllium is used to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity. Psyllium may also be used to treat diarrhea and may help lower cholesterol when used together with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

Psyllium may also be used for other purposes not listed in this product guide.


Laxatives may be habit-forming if they are used too often or for too long. This can lead to damage of intestinal nerves or muscle tissues. Do not take psyllium for longer than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.

You should not take this product if you are allergic to psyllium, or if you have:

  • trouble swallowing;
  • a sudden change in bowel habits that lasts longer than 2 weeks;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; or
  • if you have ever had a skin rash while taking psyllium.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this product. Before you take psyllium, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a colostomy or ileostomy;
  • rectal bleeding; or
  • a blockage in your intestines.

Psyllium products may contain sugar, sodium, or artificial sweeteners. This may be of concern to you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the product label if you have any of these conditions.

FDA pregnancy category B. Psyllium is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether psyllium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid taking other oral (by mouth) medications within 2 hours before or after you take psyllium. Bulk-forming laxatives can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications, possibly making them less effective.

Avoid breathing in the dust from psyllium powder when mixing. Inhaling psyllium dust may cause an allergic reaction.

If you take psyllium as part of a cholesterol-lowering treatment plan, avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Your treatment will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Using a laxative too often or for too long may cause severe medical problems involving your intestines.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using psyllium and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • choking or trouble swallowing;
  • severe stomach pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting;
  • constipation that lasts longer than 7 days;
  • rectal bleeding; or
  • itchy skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • bloating; or
  • minor change in your bowel habits.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin); or
  • demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with psyllium. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Cilium, Fiber Eze, Genfiber, Hydrocil, Konsyl, Konsyl-D, Konsyl-Orange, Laxative Natural, Maalox Daily Fiber Therapy, Metamucil, Modane Bulk, Natural Fiber Therapy, Perdiem Fiber Powder, Reguloid, Serutan, psyllium, Alramucil, Fiberall, Fiber Therapy, Konsyl Orange Sugar-free, Laxmar, Laxmar Orange, Laxmar Sugar Free, Metamucil Berry Burst Smooth Texture Sugar Free, Metamucil Orange Coarse Milled Original Texture, Metamucil Orange Smooth Texture, Metamucil Orange Smooth Texture Sugar Free, Metamucil Unflavored Coarse Milled Original Texture, Metamucil Unflavored Smooth Texture Sugar Free, and V-Lax

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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